A lot of teen magazines (or…

Should there be limits to what get airbushed for a magazine?

A lot of teen magazines (or just magazines in general) these days airbrush or manipulate the way pictures look to make it look like a model has supposedly more-appealing features. In France, there is a debate going on in the government to decide whether this airbrushing should be regulated or even stopped completely because it may lead to unrealistic expectations in youth, especially young women. While I believe that outlawing all airbrushing is a bit extreme (some airbrushing is used to modify photos of landscapes, exteriors, etc), I do believe that magazines, especially those targeted to youth, should consider how their manipulation of photographs affects their target audience. Some people argue that it shouldn’t matter because they don’t feel that anyone would believe those photos are real, anyhow. The problem with this is that there are people who aren’t aware that these photos have been changed since it’s not often explicitly stated that they’ve been modified. What this can lead to and has lead to are unrealistic expectations as to what a body looks like and earlier and earlier pressures on youth to become more sexualized. There is also a really messed up emphasis through the use of excessive airbrushing on being thin and becoming thin instead of becoming or staying fit. Maybe what magazines can do is cut back on their use of airbrushing of models, especially when most of their readers are teens and pre-teens.
– Allyson


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